Female - this rather umarked pattern is not uncommon
This is a local but
common skipper of high alpine meadows and hillsides in a rather
restricted area of France, south Switzerland and Italy. I have good
colonies near me in Vaud, at about 1500m and have seen carline skippers
as high as 2300m in eastern Valais. Males readily gather on tracks and
moist ground to take minerals, while females are more often seen off
the track, nectaring in areas of vegetation.
Carline skippers are small to medium-sized skippers. Males generally
have complete and distinct markings on the upperside forewing - usually
discrete rather than confluent - and obscure markings on the upperside
hindwing. Characteristically, the mark at the end of the forewing cell
is c-shaped outwardly. This feature should be taken in conjunction with
others, but is quite consistent and a good marker. The female is
browner and often very sparsely marked on all wings, but she also has
the c-shaped cell mark. The underside ground colour is bright and often
orangey, with pale veins. The white marginal mark in s.4 is strong and
rectangular, while the discal series is often broken in ss.2 and 3,
small or absent spots there.
The larval foodplants are various species of Potentilla.
Eggs are laid separately on leaves and the fully formed caterpillar
hibernates within the egg, hatching and feeding up the following
spring. The adults fly in a single generation in July and August.